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What’s New in the World of Wheat?

Published on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

When it comes to winter wheat production in the Midwest, sometimes get “stuck in rut” with our yields. Unlike corn and soybeans, wheat management is often put on the backburner in both time and investment into our crop. However, at Beck’s Southern Illinois PFR site, the winter wheat followed by soybean double crop system has produced some of our largest returns on investment over the last several years. So, the question arises, will this trend continue?

One way we can help ensure that wheat yields continue to increase is by testing out new products or practices in our wheat production. One new practice that we implemented at our SIL PFR site this year is utilizing closing wheels that have provided an advantage in corn and soybeans and testing them on wheat. What we’re hoping to achieve is better seed-to-soil contact, which will ultimately improve emergence and yield.

We have also continued testing different row widths on wheat. One of the newer aspects of our Row Width Study is 10 in. planted wheat which showed some merit last year. The 10-in. row width allows for earlier canopy closure and reduced lodging potential at higher populations. To find out more about this study, click here

From a product standpoint, we are testing two new fungicide products this year. The first is Topgaurd®, a new fungicide from FMC that is highly systemic. Not only does Topgaurd protects the plant on contact, but it also moves to new growth for better control and prevention. The other product we are testing this year is Miravis® Ace, a new fungicide from Syngenta that has a combination of propiconazole (the active ingredient in Tilt®) and Adepidyn®, an SDHI fungicide MOA that is targeted for Fusarium head blight control in wheat. Applications of Miravis Ace can be made before flowering, but are not recommended earlier than 50 percent head emergence.

In past years, two fungicide products that have been identified as PFR Proven™* in wheat are Caramba® and Prosaro®421 SC. Caramba has shown a 6.7 Bu./A. yield increase with a $20.73/A. ROI over seven years of multi-location testing. Proasaro®421 SC has delivered a 5.6 Bu./A. yield increase and a $15.40/A. ROI over five years of multi-location testing. It will be interesting to see how Miravis Ace and Topguard perform this year.

Last, but not least, we are also testing sugar on wheat this year. We have seen advantages to sugar applications in corn and soybeans over the last few years, so there is potential that sugar may increase yields in wheat fields as well. Stay tuned for data after the combines roll this season to see if any of them hold merit in terms of yield and ROI!

Jonathan Perkins | PFR Location Lead and Agronomist


Topgaurd® is a registered trademark of FMC Agricultural Solutions. Miravis®, Tilt® and Adepidyn® are registered trademarks of Syngenta. Caramba® is a registered trademark of BASF Corporation. Prosaro® is a registered trademark of Bayer. 

Practical Farm Research (PFR)® and PFR Proven™ are trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids, Inc. PFR Proven™ was developed in 2016 to identify the products and practices that are likely to be most profitable. If a product has been tested in PFR and found to provide yield gains and averages a positive ROI over a minimum of three years, then that product will earn the status of PFR Proven and should be something to consider trying on your farm. If a practice has been tested in PFR and found to be the most profitable, then it will also receive the status of PFR Proven. Please consult with your local Beck’s representative or trusted advisor for best management practices in your area.


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Jonathan Perkins

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